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NEWSLETTER #133
Folk Music Of The British Isles & Europe
La Bamboche ->
Various Artists
 

 

 
FRANCE LA BAMBOCHE Spalax 14926 La Saison Des Amours ● CD $19.98
10 tracks, 46 mins, recommended Although their earlier and mostly acoustic earlier album on Hexagone (not on CD) are their best, this 1978 album recorded for Ballon Noir and produced by Gabriel Yacoub is a fine collection of traditional songs and tunes. Most of the songs are performed by Evelyne Beline Girardon - a decent, if not particularly compelling, vocalist. Instrumentals and arrangements feature violin, accordion, bagpipes, dulcimer, acoustic & electric guitars, bass, drums, hurdy gurdy and more. (FS)

 
ENGLAND BRASS MONKEY Topic TSCD 550 Flame Of Fire ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended The latest from this brilliant British folk group featuring the vocal talents of Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick and the instrumental talents of Martin (guitar, mandolin and banjo), John (button accordion & anglo concertina), Martin Brinsford (various percussion instruments, mouth organ & saxophone), Howard Evans (trumpets & flegelhorn) and Roger Williams (trombone, tuba & euphonium). A delightful collection of mostly traditional songs and tunes. Some of the songs are a bit more familiar than usual (Brisk Youg Widow/ Game Of All Fours/ Streams Of LOvely Nancy) but there are also some great lesser known ones like the sly Maid Of Australia and the powerful title song. (FS)

 
ENGLAND TONY CAPSTICK Rubber 008 Punch & Judy Man ● CD $21.98
10 tracks, 40 mins, highly recommended CD issue of 1974 album by this fine singer from Yorkshire who subsequently turned more to humor thaN singing. This is a fine collection of traditional and contemporary songs - the latter often in traditional vein. The arrangements are varied featuring musicians like Dave Price, Mick Doonan, Jed Grimes and Martin Jenkins and ranges from simple acoustic guitar to electric band and includes one song acapella. There are two songs from the brilliant songwriter John Connolly including the gorgeous title song which is alone worth the price of the disc. Other tracks include Laszlo Faher (a chilling ballad)/ Sir Hubert Vayne (dig that wah-wah guitar!)/ McCaffery/ Hughie The Graeme and others. Tony passed away in 1959 at the early age of 59. This CD is available in limited quantities. (FS)

 
ENGLAND FAIRPORT CONVENTION Shakedown SHAKEBX 121 Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood ● CD $25.98
Two CD set with DVD. The CDs feature highlights from Fairport's appearances at their annual reunion at Cropredy in 1986 and 1987. Apart from the regular members of the time (the three Daves and Simon Nicol) the 1986 show featured guest appearances by Jerry Donahue, Richard Thompson, Iain Matthews and Cathy Lesurf and the 1987 show featured guest appearances by June Tabor, Ian Anderson, Martin Barre and Ralph McTell. Among the songs included are Reno Nevada/ Bird From The MountainTime Will Show The Wiser/ Sloth/ John Barleycorn/ John The Gun/ For Shame Of Doing Wrong/ Rosie/ Who Knows Where The Time Goes? and more. The DVD features a lengthy interview with Dave Pegg and Simon Nicol.

 
ENGLAND TIM HART & MADDY PRIOR Castle CMDDD 809 Heydays ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 39 tracks, highly recommended 2 CD set reissuing the three LPs released 1968-1971 by one of the best early folk revival duos to come out of England. The set is accompanied by an illustrated booklet that includes Maddy's and Tim's recollections of those days on the folk scene. The list of titles on their first two LPs (recorded, well, primitively early in their professional career) reads like a primer for the aspiring folk singer's repertoire -- Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy / Bruton Town / Who's The Fool Now / Fiddler's Green (theirs was the first recording of this song by John Connolly) among others. Their singing is perfection. Accompaniment (beware the 5-string banjo!) and the occasional choice of material are sometimes a bit off, but by and large these performances endure as jewels in the hoard of revival recordings, and some of them were reworked gloriously when their duo grew into electric folk powerhouse Steeleye Span. Their third LP, first issued under the name "Summer Solstice" in 1971, overlaps the early days of Steeleye but drew together a marvelous group of collaborators, including the brilliant Andy Irvine and two who showed up later in Fotheringay, Gerry Conway and Pat Donaldson. The songs on "Summer Solstice" include False Knight On The Road / Bring Us In Good Ale / I Live Not Where I Love / Sorry The Day I Was Married / Three Drunken Maidens -- all grand songs, none ever worked into Steeleye's repertoire. Highly recommended. (NSN/FS)

 
IRELAND FRANK HARTE & DONAL LUNNY Hummingbird 031 And Listen To My Song ● CD $20.98
12 tracks, 45 mins, highly recommended Most welcome reissue of 1976 album from this brilliant Irish singer. All traditional songs, many unfamiliar - half sung unaccompanied and half with sensitive bouzouki accompaniment by Donal Lunny. Includes Mis Brown/ SWeet Erin The Green/ Morrissey & The Russian Sailor/ Napoleon Bonaparte/ The Woods Of Truagh/ The Plains Of Waterloo and more. Has 20 page booklet with notes by Frank on all the songs plus lyric transcripts. (FS)

 
IRELAND FRANK HARTE & DONAL LUNNY Hummingbird 034 The Hungry Voice - The Song Legacy Of Ireland's Great Hunger ● CD $20.98
17 tracks, 79 mins, essential Utterly superb set of songs about the plight of the Irish population following the potato famine of 1846. Starvation and poverty made worse by the eviction of many from their small plots of land by the (often English) landlords. Many fled these dreadful conditions and emigrated to America and Canada in the hope of finding better conditions - a hope that was sometimes dashed when they finally arrived in the "promised land". The songs here deal with all these aspects of this great tragedy. You've probably heard many of these songs before but rarely sung with such conviction and passion as that brought to them by Frank Harte who is one of Ireland's great singers. Songs include Skibereen/ Sailing Off To The Yankee Land/ The Green Fields Of America/ Poor Pat Must Emigrate/ By The Hush/ No Irish Need Apply/ Lone Shanakyle/ Lough Sheelin'/ City Of Chicago and others. Many of the songs are sun acaplla and the rest feature Donal Lunny providing sensitive bouzouki, guitar and synthesizer accompaniment. Set includes 52 page booklet with notes by Harte on ths history of this critical time in Irish history and notes to all the songs and transcriptions of the lyrics. (FS)

 
ENGLAND NIC JONES Leader LERCD 2014 Ballads and Songs ● CD $21.98
9 tracks, highly recommended Long awaited CD issue of Nic's first album from 1970. Although his style was far from mature his performances of traditional songs shows a conviction and imagination that was to blossom into something truly magical. Songs include Sir Patrick Spens/ The Duke Of Marlborough/ The Noble Lord Hawkins/ The Outlandish Knight and others including a brilliant rendering of Little Musgrave which is easily worth the price of the album. Limited stock only. (FS)

 
ENGLAND NIC JONES Leader LERCD 2027 Nic Jones ● CD $21.98
10 tracks, 36 mins, highly recommended Nic's second album from 1971 is another winner and show an improvement over his excellent debut - his singing is more assured, his guitar playing is now dazzling and he has added fiddle playing to his talents. All traditional songs - The Lass Of London City/ The Bonny Bunch Of Roses/ The Outlandish Knight/ Lord Bateman (a spellbinding version that alone is worth the price of this album)/ The Two Brothers and more. (FS)

 
ENGLAND BENJI KIRKPATRICK Fellside 181 Half A Fruit Pie ● CD $16.98
Debut album from the talented son of John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris. Benji is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist playing bouzouki, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, electric bass and whistles and is joined by other musicians on several tracks included Seth Lakeman/ fiddle & viola, John Kirkpatrick/ accordion & vocals and others. Half the tracks are vocals and are mostly traditional including The Holland Hadkerchief/ The Gypsy Laddie/ The Bold Princess Royal

 
IRELAND CHRISTY MOORE Columbia (UK) 514 816-2 The Box Set, 1964-2004 ● CD $72.98
Wonderful six CD retrospective covering forty years of one of Ireland's greatest vocalists in 101 tracks (plus some hidden ones!) recorded between 1964 and 2004. Unlike most retrospectives this doesn't draw on commercial releases but instead is taken from outttakes, b-sides of singles, rehearsals, demos, live and deleted recordings. Traditional songs, original songs, political songs, love songs and humorous songs all given the Christy Moore treatment with sparse and beautiful accompaniments from the likes of Donal Lunny, Jimmy Faulkner, Kevin Burke, Declan Sinnott, Barney McKenna and others. The set is housed in a attractive flip-top box and comes with 60 page booklet with notes on all the performances by Christy.

 
ENGLAND MADDY PRIOR Park PRKCD 066 Lionhearts ● CD $19.98
11 tracks, recommended New album from the always fine Maddy Prior. The first six tracks are a collection of original songs (and a tune) written from the perspective of Eleanor of Aquitaine who lived from 1122 to 1204. She was the wife of Henry II and mother of Richard 1, called Lionheart, and his brother John - an eventful period in English history. This is followed by four traditional songs - mostly familiar but given fresh treatments by Maddy and the disc ends with folk flavored version of classic composer Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" movement from his "Planets Suite". Instrumental work is superb throughout provided by three musicians - Trey Donockley (uilleann pipes, electric & acoustic guitars, whistles, etc), Nick Holland (piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond Organ, etc) and Terl Bryant (drums & percussion.

 
ENGLAND RICHARD & LINDA THOMPSON Island (UK) 304 I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight ● CD $18.98
13 tracks, essential Reissue of the first album Richard & Linda recorded together, originally issued on Island in 1974. Richard & Linda are given superb backup by Simon Nicol/ dulcimer, Pat Donaldon/ bass, John Kirkpatrick/ concertina & accordion, Brian Gulland & Richard Harvey/ crumhorn and others - not to mention lots of great guitar by Richard. This album has more great songs then most songwriters write in a decade! - When I Get To The Border/ Withered And Died magnificent!/ Down Where The Drunkards Roll/ Has He Got A Friend For Me/ The Great Valerio, etc. The three bonus tracks are from a live appearance at the Roundhouse in September, 1975 and features two of the songs from the album including a ten minute version of Calvary Cross plus a great rendition of the Buck Owens classic Together Again. Booklet has brief notes by david Suff and lyric transcripts. (FS)

 
ENGLAND RICHARD & LINDA THOMPSON Island (UK) 305 Hokey Pokey ● CD $18.98
15 tracks, highly recommended A comparatively cheerful album from the Thompson's (notice I said "comparatively") and includes several fun but lightweight songs including the delightfully risqué title song, Georgie On A Spree and Mike Waterson's Mole In A Hole. In addition to the lighter stuff there are some great darker pieces - I'll Regret It All In The Morning/ Never Again/ Old Man Inside A Young Man , etc. There are five bonus tracks - three from a BBC radio show including Buddy Holly's Wishing and Merle Haggard's I'm Turning Off A Memory and two from live shows including Jerry Lee Lewis's It'll Be Me which was previously on the long out of print "Guitar, Vocal" album. (FS)

 
ENGLAND RICHARD & LINDA THOMPSON Island (UK) 306 Pour Down Like Silver ● CD $18.98
12 tracks, 67 mins, essential If "Hokey Pokey" was the duos lightest album then this, their third album from November 1975, was their darkest and features some of Richard's most moving writing with beautiful songs like Beat the Retreat, For Shame of Doing Wrong and the exquisite Dimming Of The Day. It also has some of his finest melodies - even if you've never heard it before you're probably going to be humming Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair the day after you hear it - the vocal harmonies are exquisite and the accompaniments by Pat Donaldson, Dave Mattacks, John Kirkpatrick, Nic Jones, Ian Whiteman and others are perfect. Only 8 songs but every one is a gem. The four bonus cuts were recorded live and includes three of the songs from the album plus a fine version of the soul masterpiece Dark End Of The Street. (FS)

 
ENGLAND VARIOUS ARTISTS Free Reed 2122 The Transports - Silver Edition ● CD $53.98
In 1977 the brilliant English folk performer Peter Bellamy conceived of something new in the British folk field - a "folk opera" using a series of songs to tell a story. In this case the story was based on the story of Henry Cabell and Susannah Holmes who were among the first convicts transported to Australia in the late 18th century. The story is told in series of songs with a traditional feel written Bellamy and performed by some of Britain's finest performers including Bellamy himself, Nic Jones, A.L. Lloyd, June Tabor, Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, Cyril Tawney and others. Instrumental arrangements were by Dolly Collins and are performed by a small group with flute, oboe, whistle, bassoon, serpent and cello with Dave Swarbrick on fiddle on some of the songs. Originally issued as two LP set this was a remarkable and adventurous project that works beautifully and garnered praise and was reissued as a single CD on Topic some years ago. For this new deluxe edition Free Reed have newly remastered and remixed the original 1977 recordings and put them on one CD. There is a second CD featuring new recordings of the songs by some of Peter's many friends and admirers including Cockersdale, Simon Nicol & Chris Leslie, Joel Griffiths, Grace Notes, Witches Of Elswick, Laura Hackenhall & Pete Morton, Damien Barber & John Kirkpatrick, John Roberts, Kimber's Men, Faiport Convention and others and includes a bonus live recording of Bellamy singing Roll Down from the opera. The CDs are house in a sturdy 12" x 6" box with 132 page book which includes original notes from the 1977 production, a complete libretto, previously unpublished 1977 session photos, detailed track notes, profiles of the artists featured on both sessions, the full story of the ballad opera and the history of the first fleet of 1977 and 2004.

 

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